February 7, 2008

Marathon, part 1

In the early spring of 2001 I realized that come September I would be turning 30. I didn't want to be 30, it seemed so old. At least if I was 29 I could still say that I was in my 20's. People in thier 30's wear glasses and have wrinkles and can't even ride the swings at the park. To make matters worse, we were in the process of selling our perfect little home in south Jersey to move closer to where Kevin worked. Everyday he faced a grueling commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and three hours of his day were eaten up in travel. I felt badly for him because of this and went along with the let's move closer to work plan but I made him miserable and was incredibly supportive.

We moved into a short term rental that can only be described as a hovel. Because it was temporary, I did my best to put a game face on.

That's probably not true. I freely admit, albeit with regret, that I was not happy to be there and let it be known to my loving and patient husband on many occasions. In true Kevin fashion, he just loved me and assuaged my fears that we would live there forever.

Rather than lament over my residentail disaster and impending jump into my 30's, I chose to focus on bigger and better things. It was during this time that I had the thought of running a marathon. But not just any marathon, the Holy Grail of Marathons...New York. I asked Kevin what he thought and he encouraged me to apply. He assured me that he would be there at the finish line waiting with open arms, narcotics and a cot, so I began the process of entering.

I quickly discovered that one simply does not decide to enter the NYC Marathon and be guaranteed acceptance. Oh, no, no. Unless you have the ability to run 26.2 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes, you get your name thrown into a gigantic hat with the rest of the free world and hope for the best. I logged onto the marathon website, entered all of my personal information, shelled out over 200 clams for race fees and hit "submit" with high hopes of being chosen to have the priviledge of crossing the finish line in November.

I entered what's called the lottery. Me and hundreds of thousands of other hopeful runners all anxiously counting down the days until that sunday in June when the results would be posted. Ironically enough that year the drawing was on Sunday, June 17, Father's Day. I told Kevin that if anyone asks him what he wants for Father's Day to say that his only wish is that his wife gets chosen to run the marathon. I had my mother and her Bible study ladies praying that God would show me favor and that I would be chosen. I just had this little feeling, call it a premonition, that I would be chosen.

June 17 finally arrived and we spent the day with my family. In the back of my mind loomed the notion that by that night I would know weather or not my dream would come to fruition. We arrived home and got the boys settled. I entered my bedroom and logged onto the marathon website. I scrolled down to "Lottery Results" and searched the "G's" with a knot in my stomach.

There it was. Gardner, Elaine female 29 accepted

I was going to do it. I was an official marathon participant.


Urban Mom said...

I'm looking forward to more details! I ran the St. Louis Marathon (my hometown) several years ago. I was in a bad, bad place in life and needed something constructive to focus on. While my knees and I have an agreement about any more marathons, I loved the challenge. It's a great feeling to cross that line, isn't it? (and no, i was NOWHERE near 2.5 hours!)

CMB said...

Woo Hoo! I am anxiously awaiting the rest...

Donna Boucher said...

Oh my gosh. Who knew?
A lottery.

Yay for you.

Jules said...

Hey Laney! Imagine my surprise when I jumped on here and saw you are blogging again! Wahoo! It will be fun to catch up on all the happening's in NC.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the marathon story. So everyone has to pay all those registration fees, even if they don't get selected? Yikes!

Krystal said...

I once ran a marathon... at least, it was a marathon in my mind. I ran a mile in 7:55 in high school. Not an easy task for a power forward with a a J-Lo booty!


Laney said...

You're funny, Krystal!

Jersey Girl said...

I'm excited to hear the rest too.

CindyPTN said...

How neat! I didn't realize that's how NYC Marathon worked. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon back in '99. Crossing the finish line many, many hours later, but what a rush. I look forward to hearing the rest of your story. I happened to come by the Well Trained Mind Boards.